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At that time Scio had a population of one hundred and fifty thousand souls; at present there are not more than half that number. Of these, about four-fifths are Greeks, the remainder being Turks and Levantines.
CHARACTER OF THE ISLAND.
The island is very mountainous; not more than one-third of its surface is favorable to cultivation. This portion, however, is exceedingly fertile, being chiefly confined to the valleys, and yields the greatest variety of agricultural productions, and which are of the finest quality.
The principal productions are gum mastic, almonds, oranges, citrons, silks, cereals, oil, wine, cotton, spirits, a large quantity of vegetables and fruits of all kinds, such as grapes, locust, walnuts, figs, apricots, plums, peaches, pistachios, &c. Gum mastic. The gum mastic tree grows only in the southern part of the island; all efforts to cultivate it in any other part having failed. There are about twenty thousand of the inhabitants engaged in the culture of this plant. Before the winter of 1850 the crop of gum averaged from forty-five to fifty thousand okes; but the unusually cold weather of that year destroyed so many of the trees that the ensuing year it hardly reached a third of that quantity. But in the year 1861 the crop again rose to about thirty thousand okes, valued at about $50,000. The tree that produces the gum mastic never exceeds nine feet in height, and the gum which flows from it is obtained by incisions made in the upper part of the trunk.
Oranges and citrons.-Prior to the severe winter before mentioned, which destroyed many of the orange and citron trees, the value of this crop exceeded two million of piasters. In 1861 the quantity exported amounted in value to $80,625.
Almonds. The produce of almonds, which are more highly esteemed than any in Turkey, varies annually, and sometimes has amounted to 400,000 okes. The value of this crop, exported in 1861, amounted to $56,845.
Cereals.-There are about 80,000 kilos of cereals produced on the island, which forms but a third part of that consumed by the inhabitants, the remainder being imported from the Danube, Roumelia, Egypt, and Caramania. The vessels employed in transporting these grains mostly belong to the island itself.
Peas. The peas and lentils of the island are remarkable for their excellent quality, and are largely exported to the market of Constantinople.
Oil.-There are about 30,000 okes of olive oil exported, which is reputed to be the finest in quality of any produced in the east.
Wine. The wine of the island has lost much of its historic reputation, owing in a great measure to the careless mode in which it is manufactured, and to a disease which has affected the vines of late years, and thereby greatly injuring the quality of the grape.
Cotton.-From 600 to 800 qnintals of cotton are grown on the island, most of which is inferior, and converted into sails for the use of the shipping. Seed from America has been introduced into this country the past summer, and this crop is destined to be the most important the coming year.
Spirit.-Scio spirit has a wide reputation, on account of the mastic which is mixed with it, and which imparts to it a peculiar and pleasant taste. The value of this spirit exported to Constantinople in 1861 amounted to over a million of piasters.
Madder. Since 1853 the culture of the madder root has been introduced
into the island. It has perfectly succeeded, and in a few years will become an important branch of commerce.
Tanneries.-There are several tanneries in Scio, which are supplied with skins from Egypt, Buenos Ayres, and Russia.
The articles imported into Scio are principally manufactured cottons and prints from England and France, through the ports of Smyrna and Constantinople. Iron chains, anchors, sugar and coffee, direct from Marseilles and Liverpool.
There are no articles imported into the island from America direct, but a small quantity of cotton drills and furniture find their way to the island through Smyrna. The American drillings are in great favor with the people, as they are of a far better quality than those made in England.
There are in Scio two marine insurance companies, the value of property insured by both being estimated at 50,000,0000 piasters.
The shipping of the island consists of four hundred and fifty vessels of various sizes, belonging to merchants and Lative captains, and are manned entirely by the natives.
The principal office of the Levant Submarine Telegraph is in Scio. The director of the line and six clerks reside in the island, and the number of messages annually transmitted from Trieste to Smyrna and Constantinople is very large.
There is no direct exchange between Scio and the United States. The value of the English sovereign is 110 piasters, and the Turkish lira 100 piasters, American dollar 25 piasters.
I have the honor to enclose herewith a statement of the movement of this port for the year 1861, marked No. 1.
The islands of Mytilene and Samos, and the port of Chesme, in Asia Minor, being nearer to this consulate than to any other, and there being no consular officers of the United States residing at any one of these islands or at the port of Chesme, I had intended to have visited each of these ports during the summer; but there being no direct steam communication, I have been prevented from doing so.
Statement showing the arrivals, departures, and tonnage of vessels at the port of Scio, together with their nationality, for the year ended December 31,
Statement showing the exports from Scio during the year 1861.
Statement showing the manufactures at Scio during the year 1861.
* No warehouse duty is levied by the Ottoman government on supplies purchased by vessels-of-war of the United States or any other nation.
ATHENS.-GEO. L. BAKER, Consul.
The total amount of the importations from foreign countries into Greece in 1859 was, in drachms, 27,392,013; total amount of the exports to foreign countries the same year were 21,884,400; total, 49,276,413.
The following table will show the proportion of the articles of import and export: